Aaron woke us up around eight to start getting ready.
"I feel like my butt is going to fall off," I groaned, swinging my legs out of the bed.
Willow laughed. When Aaron got in the shower, I spun her around and kissed her. She giggled and kissed me back, holding tightly to my shoulders. I slid my tongue into her mouth and she responded by pressing herself closer to me. She ran her hands down my chest to my abs and I groaned quietly. I bit her lower lip then kissed her again, tugging on her shirt until it was untucked and ran my hand up to her breast.
She moaned and I kissed her neck. She leaned her head back and I reached around to unclasp her bra but we heard the water shut off. Her eyes widened and she quickly fixed her button up, tucking it back in while I straightened my own shirt.
"You two ready?" Aaron asked, pulling a comb through his hair.
"As ready as I'll ever be," Willow said. "You have the check?"
"Right here," he confirmed, getting it out of his wallet. He sighed. "Let's get this unpleasantness over with."
The lawyer's office was on the more populated side of the city. Sadly, it was near my old home. I frowned as we passed by it, Aaron apologizing.
"It's all right," I sighed. "I had forgotten how bit it is," I added with a frown. "Obnoxiously big...."
They already had it up for sale but I didn't bother to look at who the realtor was. I leaned back in my seat, feeling a little conflicted. By selling the house, they were confirming that I wouldn't be moving back in there again. Of course, Aaron had already said that I would be living with them when the new house was built. I'd rather live with Willow anyway.
Aaron pulled up outside the building and we got out. Aaron led the way. Willow was shaking and I wanted to hold her but there were too many people around. They were already taking pictures on their phones.
"It's going to be all over Facebook at least by the end of the day," I grumbled when we got in the elevator.
"It'll be fine," Aaron said. "They'll probably think it's about the house and barn."
"Do we have any confirmed people for that?" Willow asked and Aaron sighed.
"No. They've narrowed it down to two people but they refuse to talk."
I shook my head wearily. The elevator dropped us off on the fifth floor and Aaron took us down to suite 508.
"So why do you have a lawyer?" I asked Willow.
We were sitting while Aaron let the secretary know we were here.
"When my mom died, we needed someone to go over the will with," she answered. "Her mom was fighting with us over some property so Vince helped us out. He's a great lawyer and he's very ethical, too, which is important to us."
"Ah, the Turners," a man said and I looked up. "Come on in. You, too, Mr. Banker."
"Call me Nathan," I said, shaking his hand when we were in his office.
Vince was a young man in his 40's with light brown hair and brown eyes. He seemed to be a positive person but it was too soon to pass judgement. He passed around some coffee and Willow sat down. I looked over at the window.
"We're on the fifth floor," Aaron said as I closed the blinds.
"I don't care. They saw us come in here."
He sighed and sat in the other chair. I stood behind Willow and put my free hand on her shoulder.
"So, bribery," Vince said. "What was your first idea?"
"Taking it to the press," Willow answered. "But Nathan and I thought about it and changed our minds. We'd be stooping to their level and it could actually come back and bite us in the ass."
Vince nodded. "It's good you came to me instead. You still have the check?"
Aaron passed it over and Vince frowned.
"Only $3,000?" he asked. "I'd think they would pay more."
Willow put her empty Styrofoam on the desktop and rubbed her neck.
"That's my fault," she admitted. She put her hand on mine. "Come on around, Nathan. It's time we get the real story into someone's ear."
We spoke for nearly an hour about how it started with breakfast with Polly. Vince took a lot of notes, a frown on his face. I was standing beside Willow now and holding her hand. There wasn't any point in pretending in front of Vince.
"Does anyone know you're dating now?" he asked.
"Just Aaron," I answered. "Well, and you now. We don't want it to get out there because then they'll have a field day."
Vince nodded slowly. "And it will greatly affect the case. The Bankers can turn it around by saying you've been dating this whole time and just been lying about it." His face darkened. "I know their lawyer and he's... well, let me put it this way: they call us snakes because of people like him." He ran a hand through his hair. "Now, are you wanting to sue?"
"I don't know to be honest," Aaron said. "They've done a lot of damage to us, Vince. The attack on our barn and home was despicable and I was ready to go for blood."
I looked at him in surprise. Aaron wasn't the violent type but right now he looked ready to kill someone.
"If you really want to hit them where it hurts," I muttered, "make this public."
They all stared at me, Vince included.
"What do you mean?" Willow asked.
I leaned against the chair. "Remember when they threatened to sue us?" I asked and they nodded. "They did that in the hopes that we would go to the media. They thought...."
"They thought you were the same," she whispered and I nodded.
"Exactly," I sighed. "Now, if we were to sue for slander - real slander unlike their fake shit - then made sure people knew about it, that would be a bigger punch than the money."
"Are you sure about that, Nathan?" Vince asked nervously. "Because if we go public with this, there's the chance that their lawyer is going to play dirty. And I mean real dirty."
I smiled dryly at him. "I know what Garrett is like," I said quietly. "I also know how my parents think. They only care about their image. Look what they did just to have a reason to cut me off that was justifiable to the public."
"You have a point there," Vince muttered. "All right. How much are you wanting?"
"A large but reasonable amount," I said and thought. "Something that would catch people's attention but not make it look like we're trying suck them dry."
"Is $200,000 too much?" Vince asked.
I laughed. "That's pocket change to my parents. But it will definitely get people's attention."
"We can't blame them outright for the attack on your property," Vince said. "We don't have any proof that they were the ones that started it. And, to be fair, they probably weren't. However, we can make sure that people know it is because of what they've done to you that caused it."
We all nodded.
"Okay," he said, "I'll work on writing up the papers. Do you think they'll take you seriously?"
"Yep," I said. "I want you to make two copies of that letter. We'll make sure the right people see it."
"Who are the right people, though?" Willow asked.
"That's where I come in," Vince said.
"So what do we do?" she asked.
"Live like normal. Hold your classes, oversee whatever it is you're doing with the house, and keep your relationship secret. I can't press that hard enough. Break it off if you have to. At least until after all this is done," he said when he saw our faces. "You never know who could be outside your hotel door and window."
"I don't want to break it off," I whispered. "Do you, Willow?"
"No," she said immediately. "We can be careful." They all stood. "Thank you for this, Vince."
"Of course," he said, shaking our hands. "What's happened to you guys is awful. I want you to get compensation and to have your lives back."
I smiled. "If that's even possible," I said and we all laughed.